“Unforgettable, that’s what you are.
Unforgettable, though near or far.”
These are the first two lines of the song, “Unforgettable” – one of Nat King Cole’s greatest hits. For those of you reading this blog who may not be familiar with him, Nat King Cole was a musician who arrived on the music scene as a jazz pianist who also became know for his soft, smooth baritone vocals. He was popular between 1935 and 1964, with a career that included a television show hosted by Cole in the late 1950s – a controversial move by NBC since no other television shows were hosted by African Americans at that time. Nat King Cole died in February 1965 from lung cancer. His daughter, Natalie Cole carries on the music tradition and is a star in her own right. “Unforgettable” is one of my favorite Nat King Cole songs. No matter where I am or what I am doing, when I hear it, I stop and listen. His voice, his grace in dealing with adversity, and his incredible talent made Cole an unforgettable entertainer.
I was waiting to meet with one of my clients the other day and as I sat in the lobby of his office, “Unforgettable” was playing in the background. The thought occurred to me of how nice it would be if all of our customers thought of us as “unforgettable” – encouraging repeat business that translates to profitability.
In order for us to be unforgettable to the customer, we need to make sure our customers are unforgettable to us. As a CEO, it is your responsibility to encourage your staff to (1) call the customer by name, especially if he/she is a repeat client, (2) know something personal about the customer – a favorite hobby, pastime or interest, and (3) know the preferences of your customer in terms of the products or services they buy from you. If your organization keeps a customer relationship management (CRM) database, getting and retrieving this data should be easy. If you don’t capture and store your customer data, perhaps it’s time to consider doing so. There are too many options out there for customers today and if you’re not developing and maintaining a relationship with your customers, I guarantee you…somebody else will be.
So the next time you engage with your customers, clients, patients, or members, make the transaction not only memorable, make it – unforgettable.